By Jessica Trolke
FULTON, MO — 12.3 Million. That’s the number of victims of human trafficking worldwide.
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Victims are usually sexually exploited by force, coercion or fraud.
Many people are trapped by traffickers with the promise of a good job in another country, a false marriage proposal, being sold into the sex trade by others or being kidnapped, according to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Nine years ago, 20-year-old Sula Skiles was a Lincoln University student with a promising future in modeling. Little did she know she would become a victim and eventual survivor of human trafficking.
Skiles signed with a modeling agency in California, where she attended several events and parties with other models. It was there she met the billionaire that promised her a modeling job overseas.
“I was this young, ambitious, naive model given this opportunity to go to another country for this modeling job…everything checked out that it would be legit. I looked online, researched everything, I was just really excited but I was only given a one-way ticket, and that should have been a red flag for me,” Skiles, now a motivational speaker, minister and sex trafficking abolitionist, said.